Over the past few years, a glut of shoes have hit the market that make one outrageous claim: Wearing them while you walk will actually help you tone your legs and get in shape. Seriously, it seems like practically every shoe company has put their spin on this concept, including MBT (my boyfriend’s mom swears by these), Fit-Flops (mentioned previously here on LB), Skechers Shape-Ups, and many more. Truth be told, although the idea of adding a little extra “oomph” to my walk courtesy of some sort of magical super shoe is terribly appealing, I’ve always found them to be unforgivably ugly (those massive, bulbous soles!), and thus shied away from actually buying a pair for myself. Then a recent evaluation, from Woman’s Day, of several different brands of “Tone-as-You-Walk Shoes” piqued my curiosity yet again. The overall verdict seems to be that these shoes won’t exactly torch calories for you, but if they help motivate you to walk more, then have at it. Ah, just as I suspected - they’re all hype! But then I wonder…
So, in conclusion, I’m putting it to you, LatestBeauty fans: Are the fitness benefits of these leg-toning shoes a trumped up marketing claim, or are they weight loss miracle workers?
If you’re a music fan, you’re already familiar with Coachella, the 3-day outdoor music festival that takes places every spring in Indio, California. Some of the biggest names in music come out to play (this year’s headliners were Jay-Z, Muse and Gorillaz), as well as a host of up-and-coming bands for you to enjoy with, oh, 75,000 or so of your closest friends. Of course, Indio’s close proximity to Los Angeles, coupled with the party vibe of the festival, means that celebs always come out in droves. Since dressing well in warm weather has always been a challenge for me, I was interested to see what kinds of fashion statements they would be rocking as the desert temperatures edged toward the triple digits last weekend. Here are a few of my faves…
Camilla Bell plays it sweet with a floral print dress and white crochet cardigan, then toughens it up with her brown motorcycle boots. Accessories are casual - big sunglasses and arms full of chunky bangles.
Rachel Bilson looks positively adorable in her cuffed denim shorts, loose tank top and summer-ready sandals. Her backpack is roomy enough to hold all of her festival essentials, and she continues the big sunglasses trend, in the interest of both anonymity and eye protection, no doubt.
True, the look is a little "out there," but hats off to Dita Von Teese for finding a way to keep her signature vintage glamourpuss aesthetic going at a 3-day rock concert in the desert! Here, she rocks high-waisted navy blue sailor pants with large white cuffs and a white bustier tank top with - you guessed it - big sunglasses. She even has her trademark perfect hair and makeup in place! Now that is commitment.
You know how I love my EOS Smooth Sphere lip balm, from the odd round packaging to the natural ingredients to the sweet and fruity flavors. But one thing always kept it from being the perfect lip product: Its utter lack of SPF. Well, just in time for summer, EOS has unveiled a brand new Smooth Sphere flavor (Lemon Drop), and this one will actually protect your lips from the sun!
It’s official…the Smooth Sphere is now perfect. Check it out if you need a new lip balm with sunscreen, you’re an EOS completist who just has to have every flavor, or you’re simply a fan of the fresh, tart taste of lemon on your lips.
So I finally got around to using my Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, the drugstore dry shampoo that I’ve been obsessing about for the past week or so. As a dry shampoo newbie, I was smitten with the idea of being able to go an extra day without washing my hair but not having to worry about greasy roots or unpleasant odors - plus, I heard that spray-on shampoo can be an excellent way to add a little texture to even clean hair, and since I’m always looking for ways to mess up my (occasionally boring) straight hair, I was definitely on board. So how did my experience measure up to my expectations? I’m happy to report that I really love this product…with one major caveat!
The first time I used the Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, it had been around 24 hours since my last proper “wet” shampoo. I sprayed it on as per the bottle instructions (really easy to do, except for the part where you have to shake the bottle vigorously between each and every spritz - argh!), let it sit for 2 minutes to absorb oils, and brushed it through. (This does require a thorough brushing, but I didn’t notice any white residue leftover when I was done.) The smell was pleasant, although not overwhelmingly awesome, but what I really loved was how thick and manageable it made my hair! I could tease the crown! I could pin it back, and it would stay! I could swoop it up into a lovely ponytail! Again, my hair is usually too soft and swingy to be styled, so I was an instant dry shampoo convert.
The next day, I decided to tempt fate and try the Tresemme again. Now, I have no idea what went wrong - are you not supposed to use dry shampoos two days in a row without a proper washing in between? Does the product build up at your roots? Or did I simply use too much? In any event, this was not the happy walk in the park I had experienced before! I had to brush my hair so many times to remove all of the chalky residue that my brush became positively caked with dry shampoo. I actually had to stop and wash my hairbrush in order to continue. Not good! I did apply more than I had the previous day, so I’m going to blame this completely on user error and say that, with a little common sense and proper application techniques, Tresemme’s Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is a great product for the price. I can’t compare it to other dry shampoos, but I was definitely pleased with my (initial) experience, and I look forward to using it again.
If you’re thinking of picking up a bottle for yourself, you should still be able to score the $1.34 Walgreens deal if you print out the Tresemme Fresh Start coupon and head into the store before the week is out!
A true lip gloss junkie is never satisfied. No matter how much gloss you have, it’s never enough. Believe me, I know - I’ve lived it! I’m constantly buying new glosses, applying them obsessively, losing them in the mysterious vortex of my purse, re-finding them months later, falling in and out of love, etc. So it should surprise no one that I have yet another new favorite that I can’t stop thinking about: Maybelline Shine Sensational Lip Gloss in Cherry Bloom.
The formula is nice - thick and moisturizing, but not terribly sticky. The color is lovely - a shimmery, pink-toned nude that could, I imagine, flatter virtually any skin tone. But what’s really got me going is the heavenly scent. I grabbed Cherry Bloom based on two things: The name and the color. I thought it would be a standard cherry-flavored gloss. I was wrong! It’s actually a cherry blossom flavored gloss, which is incredibly intriguing to me. It has this super sweet, fruity smell, but with a definite floral undertone. It’s a surprisingly complex scent for a drugstore lip gloss. I LOVE IT. And after browsing through some of the 17 flavors I didn’t buy, I have a serious wishlist going. (Toffee, caramel, cocoa, guava, sparkling grape, French macarons?!) I know I say this a lot when it comes to lip gloss, but…I highly recommend it! To fellow Shine Sensational devotees: What’s your favorite flavor?
If you’re thinking of checking out Tresemme’s Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, which I previewed last week, then get thee to a Walgreen’s immediately! The drugstore chain is currently offering a sale on all Tresemme hair care products - they’re marked down to 3 for $10, which comes out to $3.34 apiece. If you print out this coupon, which gives you an additional $2 off any Fresh Start product, you can walk away with a brand new, full size bottle of dry shampoo for just $1.34! I bought mine today, and plan to review it later this week, but I can guarantee you won’t find a better deal than this. What are you waiting for?
You may be revisiting the series, rewatching the first film, poring over on-set shots of the ladies’ wardrobes…but have you ever been to New York City to walk in Carrie Bradshaw’ s impeccable, Manolo-clad foot
ATTENTION ALL URBAN DECAY FANS: Now through April 19th, you’ll receive 30% off of your order at the UD website when you enter the code 1SFNF at checkout! UD always has a great selection of intriguing products, so you can stock up on old favorites or discover a few new ones. Enjoy!
Whether you’re a longtime fan of dry shampoo (I know ladies who swear by the stuff) or a complete newbie to the no-water-required-for-cleansing action, here’s some news that should make you very happy: Dry shampoo can now be had at drugstore prices! In fact, Tresemme has created an entire line, called Fresh Start, of products meant to revivify lagging locks without requiring you to stick your head under a faucet. The offerings include a no-frizz creme, a refreshing mist and a waterless foam shampoo (for curly hair), but the one I’m planning to get my hands on right away is the spray-on shampoo, shown here. The spray contains mineral clay to help absorb oil, as well as citrus extracts to lend a fresh scent to your hair. What’s dry shampoo for, you ask? Try getting an extra day or two out of your blowout, prolonging your color between visits to the stylist, travel situations (like camping) where showers might be scarce, people who are unable to shower or bathe due to an injury, or just those of us who like to refrain from shampooing on a daily basis but miss the feeling of freshly washed hair. Dry shampoos have been available at higher-end beauty retailers like Sephora for a while now, but the lines they carry tend to cost upwards of $20 for a single bottle. Tresemme Fresh Start retails for under $10 - and if you download and print this coupon, you can take an additional $2 off! I should have a review of this product next week, but in the meantime, let me know what you think if you happen to grab a bottle at your local drugstore.
I honestly can’t decide whether or not I think this is a good idea, so help me out here: How do you feel about wearing socks…with your heels? This photo of Leighton Meester rocking a painterly print black dress cinched with a belt, accented by a pair of bad-American-tourist-on-vacation black socks and charcoal platforms puzzles me. The outfit shouldn’t work, right? And yet, I find myself liking it. Especially the socks and heels combo. But would I actually wear it? That, my friends, is the question. I suppose the answer depends largely on the sock/shoe combo itself. First, you’ll have to invest in a good pair of lightweight, mid-calf socks - no gold-toed athletic socks bunching up in your sandals! Egads. I like these Ananda Bamboo Turnwelt Crew socks from Sock Dreams ($9). Next, look for a strappy platform sandal, like this Stefanie Caged Heel from Forever 21 ($20.80). You could try to match your socks to your shoes for a more subtle effect, or you could decide to go all out with socks and shoes in contrasting colors…or you could straddle the line between the two and pick socks and shoes in slightly different shades (like Leighton did with her black and charcoal combo here). On one hand, this is a great way to transition from spring to summer, since it lets you break out your pretty hot weather heels while at the same time protecting your tootsies from spring’s cooler temperatures. On the other hand, it does look kind of bizarre. What do you think? Fun & playful or weird & wrong?
Tim Burton’s fanciful 3D take on Alice in Wonderland has inspired a ton of fashion and beauty-related tie-ins, from nail polish to eye shadow to jewelry. The latest offering to come to my attention is Forever 21’s brand new Twisted Wonderland collection, which has Alice-inspired dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, headbands and more. Take, for instance, this Timepiece Striped Sweater Top ($19.80), which features a hot pink clock on a black and white striped tank - very White Rabbit. There is also a Cheshire Kitty Knit Top, Rose Garden Romper, satin peep-toe heels, and a headband with an enormous black bow on it for that Alice-meets-Mad-Hatter look. What do you think of the collection? Are you ready to follow F21 down the rabbit hole, or are you going to take a pass on this playful look?
Yes, yes, just a few days ago I was singing the praises of a polish as dull and gray as a storm cloud, but now I’m in the spring swing of things, and there is something incredibly appealing about Sephora by OPI’ s newe
Spring is in full bloom and that means summer is just around the corner! I know many of you ladies are looking to get fit and fabulous for the summer and what better way to get started than to invest in a pair of new yoga pants? For those of you that know me, you know that I live in yoga pants. They’re stretchy, comfortable and they make my butt and legs look better! Also, there’s just something about having cute workout clothes that motivates me to go work out. This week, I’m going to be reviewing a couple of my favorites:
Colors: check out the website, because they have too many to list and some colors are seasonal. The black ones come with waistbands in all sorts of colors, like white, pink, and lagoon.
Lengths: Regular and Tall (free tailoring comes with purchase)
The Lululemon Groove Pant is definitely my favorite yoga pants. Lululemon pants are a favorite of celebrities everywhere (and also one of Lululemon’s best selling pants) They are made with luon (Lululemon’s signature fabric), with a smooth and flat waistband that comes in an assortment of colors (my current favorite is lagoon). The groove pant comes with a waistband pocket for your gym card, ID, or key, perfect for the gym or a jog outside. Best of all, these pants are reversible, so it’s like you’re getting two pairs of pants for the price of one! And Lululemon pants are pricey. According to recent reviews, Lululemon made some changes to the materials and fabric they use to construct these pants, and reviewers have noted that these pants tend to pill after several washes, so beware of that. Also, if you’re short like me (I’m 5′2″), you will need to get them hemmed. The ladies at Lululemon will measure you and send your pants off to the tailor (free of charge) and you pick them up 6-8 business days later.
Lengths: Petite (28″ inseam), Regular (31″ inseam), Tall (34″ inseam)
I have been eyeing these pants since I discovered them, but apparently the Kickbooty pant is so popular that it’s always sold out in the most popular sizes and colors. *sigh* I will keep stalking the Athleta website until then. Athleta is part of the Gap company, so if you have a Gap or Banana Republic card, you get free shipping with your order! Athleta does not currently have any brick and mortar stores, so all purchases will be delivered to you via mail. The Kickbooty Pants are made with Pilayo, a fabric that is “ultimately stretchy, breathable and soft,” according to their website and is perfect for yoga and dance. Customers have gushed about how great these pants will make your butt look, so even if you’re not in your tip top shape, these pants will help you hide it! Most customers find that these pants are true to size, but a few commented that they were a tad tight and short, so check out the sizing chart carefully and read the reviews before you buy.
There are several other companies I want to scope out, I’ll keep you Latest Beauty readers updated.
I’ve been looking forward to the recently released biopic The Runaways ever since the first on-set photos started surfacing last year. (In case you’re not familiar with the group that the film is based on, they were an all-girl band that started in the mid-70s, when all of the members - including future hard rock legends Joan Jett and Lita Ford and frontwoman Cherie Currie - were just teenagers.) Kristen Stewart took a break between Twilight sequels to play Joan, while Dakota Fanning sheds her child star image to play the truly wild 15-year-old Cherie, who takes to strutting around the stage in little more than a corset and thigh-high stockings as her stage persona develops and the band’s exploitation begins to spiral out of control. The movie, which was directed by music video auteur Floria Sigismondi, is a little formulaic (dizzying rise to fame, on-the-road debauchery and excess, post-band redemption…check, check and check) but it’s a fun ride, and the performances are terrific. But, above all else, this is a film about style - the edgy, tough, undeniably ’70s rock and roll style that the Runaways epitomized. Some of my favorite fashion moments from the movie:
Cherie’s David Bowie belt buckle
Shag haircuts for all!
Platform boots, sandals and heels…platforms everywhere
Joan’s black Converse sneakers
Jumpsuits! Denim with cutouts for Cherie, skintight red leather for Joan
Oh, the smoky eyes…
Have you seen The Runaways yet? What did you think? And, more importantly, would you actually adopt any of these fashion cues into your own wardrobe?
Revisiting old posts seems to be a theme for me on LB lately - case in point, last Friday’s update on how well it works to use sea salt as an acne treatment (hint: very!). In the spirit of finishing what I’ve started, I’m going to revisit two more products that I posted about but never actually got my hands on…until now. Fortunately, both were worth the wait!
First, I am happy to announce that I finally have my own glorious bottle of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish in Wet Cement, which I wrote about in my gray nail polish post and have been attempting to track down for months. In fact, I’m actually wearing it on my nails as I type these very words! Hurrah. I’m not sure why I was so obsessed with this particular gray polish; maybe it’s something about the price tag ($3 or so), maybe it’s the fact that it’s at least a shade or two lighter than most gray polishes…or maybe it was just the fact that it eluded me for so long, which only intensified my frustration. In any case, I picked up a bottle (one of only two left on the shelves!) at a nearby Walgreen’s, and wow. It is creamy, shimmer-free, cement-colored heaven! Not only is the color fun and unexpected without being over-the-top, it was also extremely easy to apply; great coverage, opaque in 2 coats, and very shiny, even before a topcoat. Plus, it’s been a few days now and still no chipping! Love it. (Note: I actually have a few different polishes from the Xtreme Wear line, and they’re all pretty great - if you’re interested in trying out new/trendy colors on the cheap, I highly recommend it.)
While at Walgreen’s, I also spotted my other new beauty obsession - the EOS Smooth Sphere lip balm, which I wrote about way back in June of ‘09. I’ve been meaning to pick one up for a while, because I’m basically infatuated with the strange packaging, but I pretty much forgot all about them. The only flavor they still had in stock was Honeysuckle Honeydew, so I snatched it up. The bulbous container and lightly fruit-scented, waxy sphere of balm contained therein are both absolutely adorable, but I was even more delighted by how smooth and soft my lips felt after applying. I expected the EOS Smooth Sphere to be little more than a novelty, but I was wrong! It’s actually an excellent product, and earth-friendly to boot - 95% organic and 100% natural, to be exact. Like the Sally Hansen polish, these can also be had for a mere $3 or so. You’re welcome!
Remember when I linked to an article on the blog Shimmer Kisser about how the author used sea salt to treat her acne? She dutifully applied the salt morning and night for a good 6 months, and reported that around 95% of her acne was gone (and after only six weeks, no less). Well, I’m a sucker for an affordable skin-clearing tactic, so I vowed to try this trick out next time my skin decided to act up, and I finally got my opportunity (uh, yay?) earlier this week. And let me tell you this: Sea salt WORKS.
Taking the application tips from Shimmer Kisser, I mixed about 1/2 teaspoon of salt with water to form a paste, applied to it to my breakouts, and left it on for a minute or two. (Yes, it does sting at first, but if it gets to be too much, just rinse it off.) After rinsing, my skin immediately felt tighter and the areas where I was breaking out were drier. I noticed an immediate improvement in my skin the following morning. For the next few days, I continued using sea salt mixed with my regular cleanser as an exfoliant in the shower; my breakout is now a mere memory. I can safely say that tea tree oil and sea salt are the two most effective topical acne remedies I have personally tried; they blow all of the store-bought spot treatments I’ve tried out of the water!
Some tips to keep in mind:
Use sea salt ONLY - table salt is NOT a substitute. The reason why this works is because sea salt contains minerals that help purify the skin, and table salt is usually processed to remove those minerals.
Don’t scrub too hard! Sea salt can be very abrasive, so it’s best to use a gentle touch.
Moisturize afterwards, and don’t overdo it - once a day (or twice, if you’re currently breaking out) should be enough. This method is very drying, so you’re going to end up with flaky skin if you’re not careful.
Has anyone else tried this yet? Let me know how it worked for you!
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(If you ever need a pair of hot pink skull-shaped earrings festooned with bows and fake jewels, look no further!) When it was announced that TT would be unveiling a line of cosmetics exclusively for Sephora, fans assumed that her makeup would be in keeping with that punk-glam aesthetic, and one glance at
Everything from lip gloss to eyeshadow comes in fun, embellished packaging, and there are even two accessories (a bracelet and a flower clip). The boudoir-ready Sparklicity Shimmer Dust, which can be spritzed onto both hair and body for a beautiful gleam, is already emerging as a cult favorite.
(Check out Gwyneth, rocking the look at a movie premiere back in October.) Whether you covet the edginess of black but could never quite make the unforgiving hue work on your hands or you’re a black fanatic ready for a little change, there are tons of grays on the market right now – light gray cremes, dark gray
I’m currently obsessed with the idea of a medium gray creme, although I have yet to actually purchase one; in fact, I’ve been on the hunt for Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Wet Cement for what feels like ages now, and I still haven’ t been able